• Again, BUHARI humiliated in BANJUL as JAMMEH refuses, BUHARI departs for Mali

    14/Jan/2017 // 13331 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 14, 2017: (DGW) PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, the appointed mediator between Gambia's presidential poll winner Adam Barrow and outgoing President Yahya Jammeh reportedly flew out of the Gambia after efforts to reach deal with Jammeh hit the stone wall.

    According to fresh reports, a  defiant Jammeh curtly told Buhari that Gambia as a sovereign nation has its own laws and it's high time he stopped meddling in its internal affairs.

    Nigeria's foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this to journalists after the meeting with President Jammeh on Saturday in Banjul.

    Gambia's long-standing ruler has refused to step aside after losing the presidential poll held in December last year where Adama Barrow defeated him to emerge winner.

    According to Geoffery Onyeama, “The ECOWAS team has decided to depart Banjul for Bamako, Mali, tonight in the company of President-elect Barrow''.

    Also to attend the 27th Africa-France summit with leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is Adama Barrow in their bid to prevent the political crisis brewing up in Gambia.

    The African Union (AU) has told Jammeh that it will cease to recognize him as the nation’s legitimate president from January 19 after the AU's peace and security council declaration in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and warned of  “serious consequences in the event that his action causes any crisis that could lead to political disorder, humanitarian and human rights disaster, including loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties”.



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  • Hunting Down Journalists in Gambia

    14/Mar/2016 // 306 Viewers

    By Philip Obaji Jr

    Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay is the latest journalist imprisoned and tortured by the Gambian government. Another has languished in state security’s black hole for a decade.

    First, Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay was bundled into a car by two men thought to be officers from the West African nation's feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and then moved between various locations while blindfolded. At the time no one knew exactly what crime he was supposed to have committed.  
    The incident on July 2, 2015 was condemned by a number of human rights groups who argued that the prolonged detention of Ceesay was an infringement of his constitutional right not to be detained beyond 72 hours. The journalist went missing for 11 days, and when he resurfaced on July 13, they were reports that he had bandages plastered on his forehead and neck.
    He had been tortured while in detention. A person who saw him after his release from the NIA told Human Rights Watch that Ceesay was “beaten until he fell unconscious and was forced to drink cooking oil like water on several occasions.”

    “We saw him, his face full of bruises and his back covered in marks and wounds. He could not walk properly because of the beatings,” the witness said.
    But that wasn’t the end of Ceesay’s ordeal. Four days later, on July 17, Ceesay—who is the managing director of the independent radio station Taranga FM—was rearrested and detained at the NIA headquarters. His crime, according to the NIA, was that he privately shared by phone a picture in which a gun was pointed toward a photograph of President Yahya Jammeh.
    Ceesay is well known in Gambia. His station, Taranga FM, which translates news from international media and local newspapers into local languages,  has been shut down three times in under five years by authorities and its staff have been interrogated several times at the NIA in relation to their work.
    Taranga FM was ordered off the air by Gambian authorities from January 1 to 4, 2015. Ceesay was arrested and questioned.
    The government gave no explanation for the clampdown, but it followed a failed coup attempt the previous month against President Jammeh, who has held onto power since a coup in 1994 and often targeted journalists and media organizations critical of his leadership. When Taranga FM was allowed back on air, it was ordered to play only music.
    Ceesay has faced difficult times since his most recent arrest. He was taken before the High Court on August 25 and charged with six counts of sedition and publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm among the public.
    The journalist was also facing the same charge at the lower Banjul Magistrates’ Court, but the court last October withdrew the charges against him, saying that he should not face the same charges in two separate courts, leaving him to continue to face trial on the same charges in the higher court.
    The NIA denied him visits from his family until the day of his arraignment in August, and then he was denied bail in a hearing on September 17, 2015. Last month, Ceesay was denied bail by the court for the fourth time.
    He is currently held at the notorious Mile 2 prison located on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul. Its mosquito-plagued cells are a common destination for critics of Jammeh’s brutal policies.
    At first, family members were allowed visits to Ceesay at Mile 2, until a hearing last November, when prison authorities—without giving any reason—told them they would not be allowed to visit again.
    Gambian authorities have a reputation for stifling the media. Dozens of journalists have fled Gambia in the last two decades and a number of reporters have been targeted.
    In June 2014, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice ruled that the Gambian government had failed to conduct a meaningful investigation into the murder 10 years earlier of respected journalist, Deyda Hydara.

    Hydara—who was the editor of the daily newapaperThe Point, and president of the Gambia Press Union—was killed by unidentified gunmen on his way home from work on December 16, 2004. He was an outspoken government critic and had received multiple death threats in the months leading up to his death.
    Suspicion of this murder fell on Jammeh's government, prompting a huge public outcry, but allegations against his officials weren’t seriously pursued and the murder remains unsolved.
    The Nigeria-based ECOWAS court also noted that the Gambian government had fostered a climate of impunity in the cases of two other journalists apparently abused by state security: "Chief" Ebrima Manneh and Musa Saidykhan.
    Manneh, a journalist for Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper, was arrested for unclear reasons in July 2006 by men believed to be state security agents. Ten years on, Gambian authorities have deliberately not disclosed his whereabouts or legal status.
    Saidykhan, who worked as editor-in-chief of the now-banned The Independent, a private bi-weekly newspaper, was detained without charge by NIA agents for 22 days in 2006.
    He said he was tortured during his detention and filed a lawsuit in the ECOWAS court demanding compensation for illegal detention and torture. The court ruled in his favor, but the order to pay $200,000 as compensation to him is yet to be implemented by the Gambian government. He currently lives in exile.
    Ceesay, languishing in Mile 2, has yet to get any legal reprieve and his health has been deteriorating since the beginning of 2016. On January 13, he was admitted in hospital after complaining for weeks about stomach pains and difficulties in sleeping. He was then diagnosed with an enlarged liver and pain medication was prescribed for him. On February 29, he was readmitted to the same hospital for an asthma attack and returned to prison the next day.
    The journalist’s deteriorating health may be connected to poor diet at Mile 2. A Gambian journalist who has visited the facility tells The Daily Beast that inmates often are fed with cornmeal full of sand and water.
    “You can even see the sand in the food,” said the journalist, who did not want to be named for fear he would be put on the government’s hit list. “Unfortunately they can’t reject the food because there’s no other source of feeding. Even your family members can’t bring you food.”
    International rights organizations, who have consistently protested Ceesay’s arrest, last week urged Gambia's government to free the ailing journalist and drop all charges against him.
    “Alhagie Ceesay should not have been locked up in the first place,” said Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW). “The deterioration in his health only underscores the urgent need to release him.”
    HRW has asked that Gambia amend “several draconian laws that give authorities sweeping powers to arrest and detain critics and violate international and regional standards on the right to freedom of expression.”

    The organization said 78 out of the 171 recommendations at the UN’s Universal Periodic Review of human rights conditions were rejected by Gambia in April 2015. Removing restrictions on freedom of expression was one of the recommendations the West African nation rejected.
    “The use of archaic sedition laws to harass and lock up critics is a serious violation of the right to freedom of expression,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for West and Central Africa. “Alagie Ceesay’s case is a further example of Gambia’s blatant disregard for freedom of the press, and he should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

    Philip Obaji Jr wrote from Warri, Nigeria.


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  • Botched Coup To Overthrow Jammeh: 4 Americans bag jail terms

    14/May/2016 // 1959 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 13, 2016: (DGW)- FOUR American citizens namely Papa Faal, Alagie Barrow, Cherno Njie and US-based Gambia social activist Banka Manneh have been convicted and sentenced to various terms in prison by a Minnesota judge for violating the Neutrality Act first time in 35 years for attempting to overthrow the government of President yahya Jammeh.

    The attempt to depose the Gambian strongman occurred on December 30, 2014 which the Minnesota judge saw as a none other than a violation of the Neutrality Act of 1974.

    The provisions of this Act forbids the United States from taking military action against friendly nations. 

    The convicted coup plotters  namely Papa Faal, Alagie Barrow and Cherno Njie have been sentenced to prison for illegal possession of firearms to commit a violent crime.

    Against the maximum penalties of 20 years in prison earlier faced by the coup plotters  Barrow is to spend the next six  and three years probation. Cherno Njie bagged one year and one day with three years probation while the third convict Faal was sentenced to time served over the last year. 

    Banka Manneh, US-based Gambian activist also  as an accessory after the fact of treason was also charged with violating the Neutrality Act although via conference calls and exchanging planning document geared towards violently overthrowing the government through ''extra-constitutional means''


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  • JUST IN: President Buhari furious, hosts ECOWAS leaders in Abuja to unseat JAMMEH

    15/Dec/2016 // 7263 Viewers

     

    President Muhammadu Buhari will on Saturday host leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to a meeting in Abuja in continuation of talks on the current electoral impasse in The Gambia The Joint ECOWASAU- UN team, made up of President Buhari, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia (current Chairperson of ECOWAS), President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa) met with Yahaya Jammeh on Tuesday.

    A source privy to the planned Abuja talks exclusively told DailyGlobeWatch in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city that many options would be considered in the meeting including the  use of military force to oust President Jammeh from office.

    Buhari's experience as a former military officer who rose to the post of a General in the Nigerian Army would help in this regard , one of the reasons why the meeting would be convened in Abuja, our source further revealed

    The team encouraged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results citing “tallying errors” and his call for new elections. Jammeh was also urged to hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia.”

    “The coalition of seven political parties that produced Adama Barrow, President-elect of The Gambia, looks earnestly up to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the tiny West African country.”


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  • JUST IN: Tension in The Gambia as UN finally reads JAMMEH the RIOT ACT on Thursday, reveals 'ACTION PLAN'

    15/Dec/2016 // 11028 Viewers

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 15, 2016: (DGW) THE United Nations has finally taken a hard stance on outgoing President Jammeh of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia by reading him the Riot Act.

    This was disclosed on Thursday by the United Nations representative for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas. He said that the UN position on Jammeh is clear and would never change. President Jammeh, he said, would cease to be the President of The Gambia in January when his current term ends in January and under no circumstances or guise would he be allowed to remain in power.

     Recall, Mr. Jammeh rode to power in 1994 via a coup d'etat and has remained in power ever since until early December this year when he narrowly lost to his opponent, Mr. Adama Barrow.
    He initially agreed to hand over power but last week had a change of heart, saying the poll was not credible. His party is now challenging the outcome in Gambia's Supreme Court.

    Action Plan:

    UN envoy Mohammed Ibn Chambas warned the President would be strongly sanctioned if he clings to power.

    "For Mr Jammeh, the end is here and under no circumstances can he continue to be President," he said.

    "By that time, his mandate is up and he will be required to hand over to Mr Barrow."

     


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  • JUST IN: JAMMEH battle ready as ECOWAS briefs UN office, ready to enforce presidential poll results, swears in BARROW on JANUARY 19

    15/Jan/2017 // 4352 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 15, 2016: (DGW) REPORTS reaching our news desk tonight here in the French capital of Paris say all is now set to enforce the results of the presidential poll held on December 1, 2016 won by Adama Barrow.

    This was contained in a statement by Mohamed Chambas Head of UNOWAS,  while briefing the UN Security Council on the political and security situation in the region.

    According to the report, ''ECOWAS has decided to take all necessary actions to enforce the results of the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election in the Gambia.''


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  • BIAFRA: 47 years after, shouts for BIAFRA rents the air, a sign all not well with NIGERIA

    15/Jan/2017 // 964 Viewers

     

    This day 47 years ago, General Yakubu Gowon received the formal instruments of surrender from General Philip Effiong in an elaborate ceremony at Dodan Barracks, Lagos. That marked the end of hostilities between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the breakaway Republic of Biafra.

    Hostilities ended on January 12, 1970 when the Nigerian third marine Commando mivision (3MCD) overran the Orlu- Owerri axis at a time Biafran leader, General Emeka Ojukwu decided to embark on a trip to Cote d’Ivoire in search of peace. Many knew it was a move that signalled the beginning of his life in exile. Effiong was the next in command and it was his lot to risk death with such men of honour as Justice Luis Mbanefo, Professor Eni Njoku and Brigadier Patrick Amadi.

    They first met with Col. Olusegun Obasanjo, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 3MCD before flying to Lagos to declare the end of Biafra.

    After almost three years of crisis, Gowon made his famous declaration of “No Victor, No vanquished”. He described it as a war of brothers since no medals were awarded to any officer or men. The general showed bias intention of carrying on as a true leader when he flashed a policy of Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, the three Rs.

    The idea was to bring back the former Biafrans back to the Nigerian family as quickly as possible. The policy was only effective on paper.

    The impoverished Biafrans were further pauperised by the obnoxious policies of the Gowon administration. For instance, for all the money a former Biafran had, million pounds or a penny, he got a paltry sum of 20 pounds from the Federal Government. Many Nigerians did not see the evil in that decision which was the first sign that to survive the peace was going to be as difficult as surviving the war. There was also the issue of Abandoned Property.

    This affected houses owned by the Igbo in Port Harcourt which was part of the Eastern Region in the First Republic but had become the capital of Rivers State, one of the 12 created by Gowon in 1967. The Draconian Law implied that those houses were to be forfeited by the owners. It is instructive that this only happened in Port Harcourt. It did not affect properties in today’s South-West or the North.

    Many factors led to the war. The major reason was that the British,in creating Nigeria did not have the interest of the various peoples at heart. Colonisation was based on protecting British aspirations first. The colonies were therefore used to further enrich the a British empire and subjugate the conquered territories. The British therefore created crisis through a divide and rule style of administration.

    The legion ethnic nationalities in Nigeria were played against themselves while London benefited hugely from the deceit. When the rest of the country wanted Independence in the second half of the 1950s, the North was not ready. And when self government eventually came in 1960, the cracks were there.

    It began widely in the West as the Yoruba believed the North had annexed their region politically. Then came a military coup in January 1966 which further polarised the country. Erroneously regarded as an Igbo coup, the aim was to release Chief Obafemi Awolowo, a Yoruba, from prison and instal him as Prime Minister.

    Prominent politicians and military officers, majorly from the North and West were killed. A counter coup followed in July 1966 and its main objective was to kill the Igbo. It snowballed into a pogrom which the world sadly turned a blind eye to. War was therefore inevitable.

    The Eastern Region led by Ojukwu and the rest of the nation met in Aburi, Ghana in search of a solution. An agreement was reached by Ojukwu and Gowon. When both delegations returned, Nigeria reneged on the accord

    . Today, those factors that led to crisis are here again with us. The country is divided along ethnic lines. There is bloodletting on a daily basis either through the activities of Boko Haram or the brigandage of Fulani herdsmen. There is tension in the Niger Delta. And above all, there are echoes of Biafra in the same old Eastern Region.

    President Muhammadu Buhari was a combatant during the war. Gowon and Obasanjo are still alive. Ojukwu, Effiong and Amadi are gone. The trio of Gowon, Obasanjo and Buhari in all sincerity know the state of the country today. They also know what to do to let peace prevail. That people are still shouting Biafra in 2017 is a sign that all is not well with Nigeria.


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  • ECOWAS leaders under BUHARI have failed to arrange POWER TRANSFER in THE GAMBIA - President-elect ADAMA BARROW laments

    15/Jan/2017 // 2547 Viewers

     

    Representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have failed to convince Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to give up power following his defeat in the December 1 election, president-elect Adama Barrow said.

    A statement from Barrow's office late on Friday said Jammeh's meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ghana's former president John Dramani Mahama was "unproductive."

    Barrow's spokesman Halifa Sallah said ECOWAS would nevertheless continue its mediation efforts.

    The ECOWAS mediators also met Barrow on Friday. The president-elect was due to attend a Franco-African summit in the Malian capital Bamako, which will attempt to resolve the crisis on Saturday. Jammeh is not due to attend.

    Gambia has been in a political deadlock since Barrow, a real estate mogul who was little known before he announced his candidacy, defeated Jammeh in the election.

    Jammeh, who has ruled the small West African nation for 22 years with an iron fist, refuses to accept the election result and has filed a petition to challenge it at the Supreme Court.

    Buhari is expected to offer Jammeh political asylum if the 51-year-old autocrat agrees to hand over power.

    The talks with ECOWAS came several hours after Gambia's ruling party filed a motion with the Supreme Court to prevent Barrow from being sworn into office on January 19.

    ECOWAS earlier pledged to send troops to ensure a peaceful transition of power in Gambia if Jammeh persists in his refusal to step down. 


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  • Mali urges Gambia's leader JAMMEH to avoid 'BLOODBATH' and step down

    15/Jan/2017 // 2869 Viewers

     

    Bamako (AFP) - Mali's president called Saturday for Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh to step down and avoid an unnecessary "bloodbath" by clinging to power and forcing a potential military intervention.

    The Gambia's political crisis dominated a summit co-organised by Mali and France as Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow made a surprise appearance to meet with west African leaders seeking their help to end the impasse.

    "On January 19, I dare to hope that African wisdom will convince our brother (Jammeh) that the good Muslim that he claims to be understands the greater good for The Gambia, which does not need a bloodbath," President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told journalists.

    Barrow is expected to take power on January 19 when Jammeh's mandate runs out, but the strongman has refused to cede power after disputing the result of a December 1 election won by Barrow.

    "We have made a strong gesture. First, we have received the president," said Keita, referring to Barrow.

    Barrow flew to Bamako unexpectedly on Friday after holding crisis talks in Banjul with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ghana's John Mahama.

    Malian and Ghanaian sources confirmed to AFP heads of state had also received Barrow on the margins of the summit.

    The leaders of at least 30 nations had gathered in Bamako to discuss jihad on the continent and Africa's impact on the European migrant crisis -- but the Gambian crisis ended up topping the agenda.

    - Military option -

    The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), a 15-nation bloc, has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the vote and leave after 22 years in power.

    The spectre of a military intervention rose after declarations by the United Nations and African Union in recent days that boots on the ground could get the green light without a rapid resolution of the crisis.

    Mohamed Ibn Chambas, head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, said on Friday that ECOWAS would ask the Security Council to approve the deployment of troops to The Gambia if Jammeh continues to refuse to leave office.

    ECOWAS has made clear in the past force will not be ruled out as a last resort.

    Meanwhile, west African defence chiefs met in Abuja to discuss the crisis, Nigeria's chief of defence staff said, "as part of efforts to mitigate the political impasse," notably including neighbouring Senegal.

    In a sign of Barrow's growing international clout, French President Francois Hollande met the president-elect and was pictured shaking his hand.

    There are just four days left of Jammeh's five-year term, but he warned the international community on Tuesday that "undue external interference" was unnecessary.

    Jammeh has said he will not stand aside until the country's Supreme Court decides on his legal challenge seeking to annul the result of last month's polls, which he had initially conceded.

    The ruling however is unlikely to happen before May. - YAHOO NEWS


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  • Tough times await GAMBIA's strongman, JAMMEH, as ECOWAS vow to take necessary actions to swear in ADAMA BARROW

    15/Jan/2017 // 1240 Viewers

     

    UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) says ECOWAS has decided to take all necessary actions to enforce the results of the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election in The Gambia.

    Mohamed Chambas, Head of UNOWAS, disclosed this while briefing the UN Security Council on the political and security situation in the region.

    Mr. Chambas is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.

    Mr. Chambas pointed out that there was progress in West Africa and the Sahel, but warned of the region’s political challenges, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said at the briefing.

    The UN envoy cited a “rising tide of democracy” throughout the continent, noting that a number of countries had recently held elections which largely complied with electoral norms and standards, upholding their status as a model in the region and beyond.

    Referring to the presidential elections in the Gambia, and the ensuing crisis, Mr. Chambas said: “However, some countries in the region had witnessed political uncertainty or significant security challenges.’’

    “We were saddened by the quickly unfolding political crisis resulting from President Jammeh changing his mind and deciding to reject the results,’’ he said.

    He further updated the 15-member council on the initiatives to resolve the situation there taken by ECOWAS that agreed to uphold the elections results and decided to take all necessary actions to enforce the resul

    “UNOWAS is fully involved in supporting the ECOWAS-led mediation, which continues to explore all avenues towards a peaceful transfer of power,” the UN envoy added.

    The Secretary-General’s West Africa and Sahel envoy also informed council members of elections in Cape Verde and Ghana as well as in Guinea, where polls anticipated to be held in February had been postponed.

    In his briefing, Mr. Chambas also spoke of the continuing security and humanitarian challenges in Nigeria due to frequent attacks perpetrated by the Boko Haram militant group.

    He appealed for more funding and support for relief programmes in the country.

    He further updated the council on UNOWAS’ close collaboration with other UN missions in the region and in the context of the drawdown of the UN missions in Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia.

    He added that it worked on issues related to regional stabilisation, technical support and in the implementation of its Resolution 2282 (2016) and the General Assembly Resolution on Sustaining Peace.

     


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